Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped is written by Whitney Houston's mother, Cissy Houston, a stellar Gospel singer in her own right who performed backup for such greats as Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison and Elvis Presley. However, Cissy was always aware of the price of fame, something that she saw in the people that she worked with. That's why she was determined to live a normal life which was moderately successful but didn't put her in the public eye all the time.
However, as she points out, her daughter, Whitney, chose a different path, and Cissy continues to wonder if she should have discouraged Nippy (her nickname for Whitney) to step out of the limelight while she still could. The book shows how Cissy and Whitney weren't that close, and Cissy had a stern attitude which didn't always invite confidences. Even when Cissy finally showed up at Whitney's house in 2005 with the police and forced her daughter into rehab, she felt that Whitney resented her for this action. She writes, "I think some part of her couldn't stand that I had made her reveal her worst side to me."
Unlike others, Cissy doesn't entirely blame Whitney's marriage to Bobby Brown for her ultimate deterioration; Whitney was already doing drugs by the time Bobby came into her life. This is not to say that Cissy is a big fan of Bobby's; she was especially offended by his number, "Humpin' Around." But according to her, Whitney was her own person who made her own choices for which no one else can be blamed.
This is a gripping account of Whitney Houston's descent into drug use and her deteriorating mental processes as she became more successful. Whitney was larger than life and also remote, pushing away people's concern about what was happening to her. This, combined with Cissy's own no-nonsense attitude created some distance between the mother and daughter. But the mother's love for her daughter shines through the memoir anyway, as does her regret that she wasn't able to help her daughter overcome her demons.
Emily "Cissy" Houston was the eighth child of Nitcholas and Delia Mae Drinkard, born in Newark, NJ. Cissy's mother died when she was five and her father when she was eighteen, after which she went to live with her older sister, Lee Warwick, mother to Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick. Cissy was married twice, once to Freddy Garland with whom she had a son and the second time to John Russell Houston Jr. a Newark City Administrator and Entertainment Executive, with whom she had her daughter Whitney. Despite the fact that Cissy worked mostly as a backup singer, she has been the recipient of a Grammy for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album.
Honest and heartbreaking, a mother’s story of tears, joy, and her
greatest love of all—her daughter, Whitney
On the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards, the world learned of a stunning
tragedy: Whitney Houston, unquestionably one of the most remarkable and
powerful voices in all of music, had been silenced forever. Over the weeks and
months that followed, family, friends, and fans alike tried to understand how
such a magnificent talent and beautiful soul could have been taken so early and
so unexpectedly. Glamorous and approachable, captivating and sweet, Whitney had
long ago won the hearts of America, but in recent years her tumultuous personal
life had grabbed as many headlines as her soaring vocal talents. Her sudden
death left behind not only a legacy of brilliance but also painful questions
with no easy answers.
Now, for the first time, the beloved superstar’s mother, Cissy
Houston—a gospel legend in her own right—relates the full, astonishing scope of
the pop icon’s life and career. From Whitney’s earliest days singing in the
church choir to her rapid ascent to the pinnacles of music stardom, from her
string of number one hits to her topping the Hollywood box office, Cissy
recounts her daughter’s journey to becoming one of the most popular and
successful artists of all time. Setting the record straight, Cissy also speaks
candidly about Whitney’s struggles in the limelight, revealing the truth about
her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown, her public attempts to regain her
celebrated voice, and the battle with drugs that ultimately proved too much.
In this poignant
and tender tribute to her “Nippy,” Cissy summons all her strength to reveal not
only Whitney the superstar but also Whitney as a sweet girl, a bright-eyed
young woman, and a deeply caring mother. Complete with never-before-seen family
photographs, Remembering Whitney is an intimate, heartfelt
portrait of one of our most revered artists, from the woman who cherished her
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